Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Yoga Intructors’ Category

Uh…I feel bad doing this, because I feel that I keep bashing yoga instructors, but- eh, I’m doing it.

This Saturday morning I went up to Some Like It Hot for their 11:45 vinyasa class that I usually go to. Isauro Fernandez, who usually teaches this class, was not there, and his substitute was the studio’s owner, Yola Romeo. I was a little bummed, because I was excited to just sweat and move, which is always guaranteed with Isauro, but went into class with an open mind.

We started in frog pose (for those of you who have been wondering, I nixed the 30 day frog pose challenge- I decided pain sucks). I must mention 2 things a) I’m a runner and b) I have this mysterious hip/back injury that acts up from time to time and makes me writhe in excruciating pain. To start a class in frog is my hell and to hold it for 5+ minutes is essentially the worse layer of Dante’s Inferno multiplied by 347 gajillion. But- open mind, I threw my ass up in the air and sank into my iron-clad, locked hips. Yola, noticing my hips were no where near touching the ground, came over to me and told me to move my hips wider. “They don’t go wider,” I gasped through my tears of pain. “I’m looking at your body and they do go wider, ” she told me. Oh sage and all-knowing Yola…thank you for your words or wisdom. Believe me, they didn’t go wider. She brought us through a series of poses (no flow) and corrected us, which was actually nice. I don’t love pain-stakingly long explanation of poses, but every once in a while (even if it isn’t by choice), its a good thing to do. And don’t get me wrong- this was hard and I felt it the next day. As much as I like to move in yoga, I realize that holding postures longer can be great and strength building. So all was well. Until lizard pose.

As you can see, this is a difficult pose for people with tight hips. I for one, cannot put my arms down flat like this nice lady above- my arms are straight in this pose. Yola would not have this. I told her I had a hip injury. My injury is somewhat complicated, no one really knows what it is and I’ve had the problem for years. But I didn’t feel the need to explain the logistics in front of the entire class- I know what is right for my body. But she continued to press me about it and came to her own conclusion about what my problem was in 20 seconds after years of doctors checking me out. For the rest of class, she kept on me constantly, telling me to lift my shirt in front of the mirror, that I was doing postures incorrectly, etc, etc. And with this majorly, self-righteous attitutude. Just what I wanted on a hot Saturday morning.

There was 1 guy in class, who Yola yoga-molested for the entire hour and a half. She laid on top of him, held his pelvis, and caressed his legs non-stop. At one point, while she was “adjusting” him, a woman in the back of class yelled out, “can we switch poses yet?” Yola had left us in some pose for an inordinate amount of time while she got her freak on.

Her speech at the end of class bordered on insanity…she talked about one thing, then another, none of which had any relation about it each other. She even mentioned at one point that there were a lot of people who came to her studio that had a lot of money and they were certainly not happy people. As if that is necessarily related… Though my mind may have not been all that open, hers was most definitely not and made for a VERY unpleasant class.

-Britt

Read Full Post »

I found this great article from back in 2007 from Time Magazine.  It’s pretty hilarious.  Skip the Botox. Try Facial Yoga by Kate Stinchfield. “Based on the premise that facial muscles, like any other muscle, need exercise to stay toned, enthusiasts of facial yoga say the regular practice of making kissy faces or wagging one’s tongue can reduce worry lines and wrinkles — and even create a little peace within.” Try out facial yoga in New York with Annelise Hagen author of The Yoga Face: Eliminate Wrinkles with the Ultimate Natural Facelift. Someone please try this and let us know what you think!  If anything, you’ll surely get a kick out of making a “smiling fish” in front of the mirror. Annelise is not alone, Leta Koontz holds Fresh Face Yoga workshops at her Pittsburgh studio.

Annelise Hagen website here: Yoga Face

Leta Koontz teaches here: Schoolhouse Yoga

-Eliza

Read Full Post »

In today’s NYTimes- “Ms. Wheelock, who is a registered yoga instructor and also teaches blind and visually impaired children in New York City, has taught in studios in the past and now gives private lessons in homes. The Sunday classes started last year when she decided she wanted to practice yoga on the beach.”

“There’s such peace and serenity from the sound of the ocean. Just being at the beach, I feel a spiritual connection.” -Alice Quinn, Rockville Centre

Read full article here: On the Beach, the Yoga Poses Really Flow by Linda Saslow

-Eliza

Read Full Post »

If you’re a fan of yoga podcasts as mentioned in my last post- check out this website aliveyoga.com which offers downloadable classes recorded live from the likes of Ana Forrest and Beryl Bender Birch from Ashtanga to Vinyasa.

-Eliza

Read Full Post »

Photo by Maverick Zack

They may not be tech savvy enough to call them podcasts, but these “downloadable audio sessions” are exactly that. Who knew Jivamukti had gone so high-tech! Most of the podcasts are recordings of actual classes and workshops so the content isn’t as engaging as it could be given that it was meant for a live audience.

If you’re fans of the Jiva duo though, I suggest giving them a try.  A perfect to kick-start to your home practice!

On that note, an obvious pointer-> not exactly the kind of content to jazz you up on your commute to work…

Try them here: Jivamukti Audio Sessions

-Eliza

Read Full Post »

Rebecca Balfe is the new(ish) manager at the New York Prana Power Yoga studio- probably the studio I frequent most often. For any of you Om La La Yoga readers who have also been frequenting the studio you all remember when it was Molly Powers’ and Rolf Gates manning the helm. Now, I’ll keep my comments about Rolf Gates to myself because personally I think he’s full of…well something. In fact, I’ll keep mum on this one because I honestly do respect his cult-like following (although the following is perhaps part of the reason I have a distaste for him).

Okay, I digressed. My point was this: Molly really ran the show, and a show it was. Molly Powers is a Boston native with the accent to boot. She is bubbly to say the least…all personality. You really never got bored in her class and she taught a good one. (Molly is now manager of the newest Prana Power Yoga in Winchester). When Molly left, Rebecca took the reigns. Now, Rebecca has been mentored by Rolf and by Ana Forrest but when she first started her class was essentially “Rolf Lite.” A lot of the same routine, a lot of the same words even. One of my main criticisms of the Prana Power Yoga in New York is that the teachers generally don’t bring much personality to the mat. And lets be honest, if you’re not going to be engaging, energizing or anything at all, at least turn on some music! All in all, I was pretty discouraged at first.

HOWEVER, (a big however) as of recently I believe Rebecca’s really come into her own. I’ve taken her class a few times in the past week and she has been leading a much more dynamic and challenging class. She is also calls out a lot of options to allow the students to curate their own flow a bit (which I love!).

So, cheers to you Rebecca for coming out from under Rolf’s shadow! I really mean that in the best way possible. And for all of you Rolf Gates fans- all the power to you.

-Eliza

Read Full Post »

After a full 5 days of classes at the Center for Yoga, one post just isn’t enough to explain the insanity that goes on within the walls of “serenity” and “peace”. By the way, the no-named, Johnny wannabe teacher I previously referred to is Aaron Fenton. I ended up practicing with him 3 days in a row- impressively he had a different sequence each day, which is rare. Especially in New York I feel that many instructors create a series and tend to not stray from it for a week or two, which can get quite boring for regular practitioners. The highlight of Aaron’s classes was when he put on “Lollipop” by Lil Wayne to pump up the class for a round of intense abs. Although I admit the impeccably toned and polished suburban housewives that attend Center for Yoga at 9:45 each day are quite hip for the Midwest late 30s, early 40s set, I couldn’t help but be entertained by the ridiculousness of this song in this particular situation. Though frankly, Aaron can get away with pretty much anything in my book- I have a weakness for cute, well-dressed boys.

Fortunately for me, Johnny returned from his trip (Ojai, CA I believe?) for my last class on Friday morning before I came back to New York. Before I go any farther, I must say, I know that non-judgement is a goal that yoga is supposed to help facilitate. I realize this and am working on it, but let’s just say I’m not quite there yet 🙂

Truth be told, Johnny teaches a great class. As I mentioned before, the Center for Yoga doesn’t separate standing sequences from the floor portion, instead they integrate everything into a sequence that is built upon from a simple sun salutation. On this particular day everything from half moon, to boat pose, to tripod headstand was a part of the same series. It’s hard, but great because the really allow you to pick and choose what you want to do. Why does no one in New York do this??? Michigan yoga is kicking New York yoga’s ass! In a totally friendly, cosmic karmic way of course.

How can you not love a class that starts out with the Cheers theme song??? Apparently Johnny’s time away sparked a need to come back to a place “where everybody knows your name”. Johnny definitely puts on a bit of a show during class- back in the day there was no bouncing around or random rants during class, he was always a bit subdued and sort of floated around the room making corrections or giving massages here or there. He emits a huge amount of energy, which is great, but makes him the center of attention to an entirely different degree. At some point Johnny tried to quote “either Churchill or Krishna” by citing “war will only end when there are no more slaughterhouses”. I’ve googled and googled and can’t find any such quote- the only think I can think of is maybe some sort of Vonnegut reference. Later he class he went on to say that “the people that work in slaughterhouses need to realize what they are contributing to”, which if you know ANYTHING about the slaughterhouse workforce, is a totally ludicrous thing to say- but I’ll keep my politics on that to myself for today. He also discussed the beauty of how woman can start to be on the same “moon cycle”, which bleeeechhh, some things men just don’t need to comment on. Of course we ended class with another round of the Cheers theme song, however this time we were asked to sing along while holding hands with our neighbor. Nothing like a little bit of crazy before 11am in southeastern Michigan 😉

-Britt

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »